Donald Duck's 50th Birthday

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Donald Duck's 50th Birthday
Logo used by Disney in the birthday tour and the CBS television special
Written by Peter Elbling,
Andrew Solt
Directed by Andrew Solt,
Phil Savenick
Starring Dick Van Dyke,
Clarence Nash,
John Harlan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Walt Disney Productions
Production company(s) Walt Disney Pictures Television
Distributor Walt Disney Domestic Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Original release November 13, 1984 (1984-11-13)
Followed by Mickey's 60th Birthday

Donald Duck's 50th Birthday is the 1984 television special broadcast on The Magical World of Disney on November 13, 1984 on CBS. As the title suggests, it was produced for the 50th anniversary of the Donald Duck character. Donald is shown in both animated and costumed form, interacting with emcee Dick Van Dyke and other cast members. The film not only shows Donald's life, but also depicts an extensive international tour that Donald went on in 1984 as well as showing various celebrities of the day wishing Donald happy birthday. The tour culminates in a parade in Donald's honor at Disneyland. It was rebroadcast on Disney Channel Europe on November 13, 2004 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the special plus at the end of the special, it has the sign: "Walt Disney 1901-1966 Clarence Nash 1904-1985".


  • Star Wars characters R2-D2 and C-3PO explain that clarity of speech are qualities that are vital to future languages and that those who do not possess such qualities are doomed. They then add that there are exceptions to that rule, case in point, Donald's famed speech impediment, created by Clarence Nash, which they claim they know very well. C-3PO closes out this scene by saying, "Happy birthday, Mr. Duck. And Mr. Nash."
  • Acclaimed artist Andy Warhol is shown finishing and hanging, The New Spirit a painting that was created for Donald's golden jubilee.
  • There are quite a few scenes with Walt Disney, one with Donald Duck hiding under Disney's desk blotter despite the pleas of Disney to meet the people that had come to see him (from a "Disneyland" episode entitled The Plausible Impossible), another with Donald demonstrating the techniques of animation and sound effects and a third with Donald as a puppet with Disney was receiving a Master of Arts (the joke being that it was Donald who received the degree)
  • The theme of The Mickey Mouse Club is shown with Disney characters to illustrate Donald's innate jealousy to Mickey Mouse having his own TV show. Dick Van Dyke states that Donald "never let anyone forget it".
  • There is a film clip with Daisy Duck baking a cake for Donald featuring the 1980 Donald Duck song Going Quackers with various Donald Duck and other Disney character toys doing a dance number using stop motion animation as well as reverse acting.

1984 birthday tour[edit]

In 1984 Donald Duck (in costumed form) went on an international tour through Europe, Japan and parts of the United States. Some of these stops on his tour actual stage performances attended by other (costumed) Disney characters. Donald's arrival at airports (on his own plane depicting Donald in flight on the tailfin) was met with colossal crowds that kept getting bigger. There were also several parades for Donald, and not just at the Disney theme parks. In one, Donald sat in a staff car in his military uniform and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. This scene was also when he was discharged from the US Army. Donald is also shown having his footprints cast in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in May 1984.

In the film, Donald's tour is shown with music as well as dialogue, assumedly added later by Clarence Nash.


Also featured is Walt Disney in several clips (Disney himself having died in 1966).

Featured clips[edit]


The Donald Duck's 50th Birthday
EP by Various artists
Released November 1, 1984 (1984-11-01)
Recorded 1984
Genre Various
Length Unknown
Label Disneyland Records
Walt Disney Records
Buena Vista Records


Singles from The Donald Duck's 50th Birthday Album
  1. "Happy, Happy Birthday to You (Donald Duck Version)"
    Released: 1984
  2. "Going Quackers"
    Released: 1985
  3. "Can You Quack Like Donald Duck?"
    Released: 1986
  4. "Tutti Frutti"
    Released: 1987
  5. "The Army's Not the Army Anymore"
    Released: 1988
  6. "Donald Duck Theme"

Happy, Happy Birthday to You (Donald Duck Version) was released on the Splashdance LP and cassette. Splashdance has since been re-released on compact disc.


  1. ^ Jenner changed her name due to gender transition in 2015.[1]


  1. ^ Buzz Bissinger (June 1, 2015). "Introducing Caitlyn Jenner". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]